T Nation

Waves of Gains...?


I seem to have waves of gains. For two or three weeks I'll make consistent gains and then all of a sudden, a mini-plateau that usually lasts 10 days. I havent changed my programming during these plateaus.. Weights that just felt manageable now feel 110% of 1RM. Then, all of a sudden, the gains come back and last another two or three weeks.

This has happened several times with most of my lifts - bench press, squat, and overhead press.

In the 'micro' way of looking at things, this bewilders me, yet in the 'macro' view Im still satisfied with the gains I do make.

Any diagnosis here? Advice?


I'll put it this way, if you are making steady gains then don't worry about the tough workouts. You will not always gain. Most likely the longer you are in the iron game the more you will slowly plateau. Unfortunately eventually you will not get any stronger and then will slowly decline. This may be 30 years from now, who knows. I am at the point where I have to be satisfied with small gains that take long periods of time. If I can put 10lbs on my raw bench in the next 6-12 months while not jumping weight classes I will be very satisfied. Just be thankful you are still gaining over the long run. So many things affect your strength that it would be hard to nail down what is going on during those small periods of time in which the weight feels extra heavy. This happens to all of us. Sometimes on those days I just walk out of the gym, your body may need it.


If you increase your lifts in the long run, you should be happy!


I think this is why most PL programs have a deload after the 3rd week.




It sounds pretty normal to me.

Side note, my first thought seeing the thread title was "For purple mountains majesty..."